After a break that seemed to last longer than the fifteen minutes it really was, I mailed my postcard and tried to get my body moving again. Instead of being energized, I felt lazy, which was surprising because I had felt better before my two morning breaks. Along the Camino, Portomarín was clean, with many shops and cafés. One grocery store advertised bottles of wine that cost €.61 each. Amazing price, but amazing wine? Maybe I could use it later to rocket me up the hill. More likely, I would pass out under a giant chestnut tree and wake up the next day… From Page 179, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. It was for that very reason, I didn’t drink alcohol during the day while I walked the Camino.
Now, I’ll continue my journey on the Camino de Santiago in Portomarín, Galicia. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).
On my last post, On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Mercadoiro to Portomarín, I gave a brief recent history of Portomarín, regarding the damming of the Río Miño, and creating the reservoir, Embalse de Belesar. I also showed these first two photos but now, let’s take a closer look at the structure across the bridge. As you can tell from this point, it only looks like stairs in front of you.
Even from across the bridge, I couldn’t really see what was there until…
I walked to the side for a view of this amazing structure. This connected the old bridge and town of Portomarín to the hillside and the Camino. Nowadays, pilgrims climb the stairs, walk through the portal and up the hill, before entering the town.
Here’s a view from the bottom of the staircase.
I stopped here for views of the Miño Valley and the Embalse de Belesar. I felt very lucky to be able to walk along this amazing structure.
The Camino follows a sidewalk with parkland on the right. I stopped for a break with more views of the Embalse de Belesar.
The 13th century Iglesia de San Juan has the largest single nave of any Romanesque church in Galicia. Amazingly, this was one of the buildings, once along the valley bottom, that was reconstructed, stone by stone, at the current townsite on the side of the hill. The interior wasn’t extravagant, possibly because it had been rebuilt fairly recently. From the outside, the focus of this fortress-like church is the rose window. Let’s take a closer look…
of course, the colors of the stained-glass don’t show from the outside but you can see some of the details.
Across the plaza from the church, this is the Pazo del Conde de la Maza on the right and the main street that the Camino followed. This was the extent of the climb before descending back to another bridge over an arm of the reservoir.
The aforementioned advertisement for very inexpensive Spanish wine. No, I didn’t buy any.
A small park along the Camino, just outside of the downtown area.
A good view of the Camino on the right and the bridge pilgrims crossed before climbing the hill on the left.
A classic Galician track, although if you have followed my recent posts, you can tell the climate here is much drier than earlier in Galicia.
I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop just as I began to climb from Portomarín. On my next post, On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Portomarín to Ventas De Narón, I’ll take you through more Galician hamlets and countryside as we get closer to Santiago de Compostela. Please join me.
If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads page has reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.